The Friday that Jesus was crucified is called good Friday. Why, when the skies grew dark, the earth trembled, and it seemed that Christ had been defeated? In the gloom of Golgotha, called The Place of the Skull and Calvary, the Lord Jesus was lifted up, nailed onto a heavy cross as a failure and a mockery of hope.
The Lord of all creation had been stripped, beaten, and spat upon. Lifted up, he bled and his tongue ached with thirst as soldiers gambled for his robe, untouched by the struggle above them. People below Him watched the stark exhibition of the grip of darkness. Or so it seemed, as the Lord of lords, King of kings, Ruler of rulers, and Leader above all nations hung on display. Others, obsessed by worldly matters, considered that Friday (if they noticed it at all) as good riddance of a growing and unsettling delusion. They thought it good that the Man would live no more to trouble anyone.
The crucified ones would be pronounced dead before evening. Who knows how many crosses stood on the shadowy dung heap outside the city of Jerusalem? Considering three specific crosses, holy scripture tells that the Lord, the Center, hung below a sign nailed as an after-thought: "Behold, the King of the Jews."
At one side of Jesus hung a criminal who denounced Him in sinister rebuke.
On the other side, a thief clung to a personal hope: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
The suffering Savior answered: "... this day you will be with Me in Paradise." The willing, though dying, criminal would be redeemed, by faith in the Lamb slain for the sins of the world.
On Sunday, Resurrection Day, followers of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, would rejoice in the light dawning upon them on that third day. Joyous Easter followed a dark and hopeless "good Friday"; the victorious radiance of God in Christ had defeated death forever...for any who would believe on Him, Jesus. When good appears to be defeated, believers scan gloomy skies for rays of hope that God will reveal in His timing. Thanks be to God! Believers have on any dark day a "good day." We live in the goodness of Christ on the Cross.